Friday, July 12, 2024

Raya: I have to follow the coach’s orders

David Raya endured a difficult opening to Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Man City just before the Interlull, with some iffy passing and one particularly scary moment when he was caught on the ball by Julian Alvarez.

Thankfully, it rebounded into the side-netting, but it didn’t do much for the nerves of Arsenal fans whose unease was palpable at times. However, the Spaniard said he has to do what Mikel Arteta instructs him to do, even if it gives sections of the crowd the heebie-jeebies.

Speaking to The Athletic (£), the 28 year old said, “It’s something I have internalised, but it’s also the coach’s orders.

“What he doesn’t want is for us to start hitting balls — we have to invite a player to come out a little bit.

“I’m the free man, and once a striker or someone jumps me, that leaves a free man on the pitch, and we have to look for superiority. That’s the way the coach tells me to play.

“The fans aren’t used to us goalkeepers having the ball for a long time and if the opposition don’t press, you have to wait for the moment to pass the ball.

“It’s a risk that we take, but I take the responsibility that if, one day, there’s a mistake I’ll raise my hand. There’s no way around it.”

The manager praised the character of Raya afterwards, saying he had ‘big ones’, and it looks as if the on-loan Brentford man has displaced Aaron Ramsdale as first choice for now.

That relationship is also something he touched on, insisting it was positive, with both goalkeepers pushing each other during training sessions.

“The relationship? It’s very good,” he said. “At the end of the day, we are mates, which is the important thing. We have a very healthy relationship. There are no problems.

“We push each other every day in training: when he’s a little bit down, I push him, and when I’m a little bit down he does the same.

“We train three goalkeepers, four at the most, for hours a week, and you need that kind of relationship because otherwise, the training is not going to go well.”

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Celebration Police

Many arsenal fans are listening too much to the press which is impacting how we react to the mistakes of our players. Every ball playing keeper makes mistakes and this won’t be the last. In my opinion, Raya is more calm on the ball than Ramsdale. We also have to look at the pressure on Raya. Arsenal isn’t Brentford. He was playing a very big game against our toughest opponent that has a psychological edge after moving from Brentford. I hope he takes confidence from this win going forward. I love Ramsdale, but the decision lies with Arteta. He knows… Read more »

Funsho Patrick

The jury is still out on this…. sample size is too little for now….Ramsdale also has leadership qualities..good for morale…May the better goalkeeper win…

Johnny 4 Hats

You know how the old saying goes…

“It is better to have loved and lost than have Almunia in goal”


We’ve not had sucha decent goalkeeper since Lehman who also lived by a Tennyson ode…

Theirs is not to reason why
Theirs is to do fucking awesome rolly-polly warm ups and piss on the advertising hoardings.

Johnny 4 Hats

And who could forget ‘The Rime of the Ancient Manninger’ and ‘The JabberWojciech’.

Heavenly Chapecoense

If Brentford refuses to sell him at the end of the season or put him up for auction, what will we do? Bring another GK above Ramsdale or saying to Ramsdale, you are hero until we find another GK? Not healthy, the club should have bought Raya.


Do we not have an obligation to buy?


I believe it’s an obligation to buy if certain objectives are hit. Such as plays 10 league games then it’s an obligation. From what I understand, the targets are very easy to hit to make the deal an obligation to buy.

karl g

So it was just about FFP, if that is a thing teams worry about.

Should have just given him a Chelsea contract through until his 50th birthday.


We have an option to buy for 27m. So it’s up to us not Brentford.


Don’t we have an option to buy for 27m?


Well we have either an option or obligation to buy so it unlikely this happens


Worst case scenario Ramsdale improved due to the added competition especially his ball playing ability, still a win win.

karl g

He was calm against lower opposition, but understandably nervous against better teams, just like any keeper.

Mick Malthouse

Why does Arteta feel he’s better than Ramsadale? With his feet? Under pressure? Shot stopping? Decision making?
Genuine question as I like him, but don’t see where he is clearly better.


Raya is slightly better than Ramsdale at all of those things. Not much in it but fine margins and all that.


The sample size is too small to make a definitive judgment, and tha majority of Rayas stats beyond the few games for us come in a radically different system. Saying one is marginally better at this point is purely personal preference.


Sample size from this season or the past two seasons say the same thing. In terms of the data on distribution, it’s not actually close, Raya is clearly stronger (they’re equal in PassComp%, but Raya attempts and completes WAY more long passes – every year). he’s also much better at claiming crosses. Shot stopping is perhaps more arguable, but based on last season alone, data show’s it Raya. While I’ve posted these data before, don’t take my word for it. [other articles highlight the same too]. Statistically speaking it’s a clear and easy decision. I really like Rammers, and… Read more »


Especially interceptions. He has not out in a wrong foot doing these

Tankard Gooner

You should check the pass numbers for the 2 of them, Raya really comes out on top in that respect. As a stopper, I think we need to see more of him to make a decision.


Raya also seems to be better at claiming crosses, notwithstanding that “Flapiansky” moment in the ManC game.


I guess that’s why Arteta is boss and we’re all just arm-chair/Football Manager coaches.

Make what you will of the stats, but they put Raya ahead of Ramsdale in almost every category.

karl g

It’s a hard one to judge, but have we scored more goals than conceded through risky passing around the back?

So far I don’t think David Raya has been any worse than Ramsdale, but I don’t see the big advantage either and his lack of height worries me. The buildup to the first Spuds goal was a a prime example.


Goalkeeper is the one position where height is an actual factor in performance as not only will your arms be longer, but you are able to see over more players. It’s the same reason why you don’t see many short basketball players- tall players have better vision downcourt.
Placing a lot of faith in Raya, especially after investing a lot of money in Ramsdale, seems like a recipe for disaster in the summer.

karl g

I hope I’m wrong, but it just reminds me of Ospina.

djourou's nutmeg

only in the premier league there is an argument such as “the keeper is too short”. please stop it, it’s extremely ridiculous. david raya is 5cm shorter than ederson and oblak, and 2cm shorter than keylor navas. he is even taller than iker casillas. and if you tell me iker casillas was too short to play gk, then i don’t know what to tell you. he’s tall enough and so was ospina, trust me.

karl g

When did Casillas, Oblak or Navas play in the Premier League?

Personally I think height is important in this league, but I guess we’ll see during the season now David is No1.


Since you asked, Navas played for Nottingham Forest last season.

karl g

He was registered, but didn’t play a game.


He played 17 games.

karl g

You’re right!


I think the analysts are all coming round to the fact that Arteta is trying to make this team less emotional. I said to all my friends at the end of last season that the team was a bit too emotional and that it wasn’t sustainable. Raya, despite that one spate of nerves, is clearly a calmer influence in defence.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Why do I get all the downvotes for saying the same thing perhaps a little bluntly? I see, you put that on analysts, my smart man.


Words maketh the man


Stop giving a shit about the stupid votes

karl g

I really don’t think we missed the league win because of emotion. That is just pundits planting an idea. It was down to a think squad and we started to lose when key players got injured.

I miss santi cazorla

Yeah. Instead of emotions it was drop in the quality in Holding, Nketiah, Jorginho vis-a-vis saliba, jesus, partey.

But emotions and all

Heavenly Chapecoense

No, the top guns dropped in performance. Please do not blame it on our football-wise proletarian players. I will always defend them.

karl g

If they did drop, it was because they had insufficient backup and had to play full matches too often.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Alright, the critical PK miss by Saka was due to a lack of backup.


Lol..if Arteta wants the team less emotional then he surely has to look at himself FIRST!

A Different George

*Fans* have been arguing about the risk/reward of “unconventional” goalkeeping at least since Cruyyf had his keeper stand outside the penalty area for Ajax (see Jonathan Wilson’s piece in The Guardian). But managers, at least at every top club in Europe, have long since decided. Do you think Klopp would ever have wanted to swap Allison for prime De Gea (probably the best shot-stopper I’ve ever seen)? And Pep–well, he’s Cruyyf’s direct descendant, isn’t he?


If they don’t press him, as the free man he’s in the perfect position to start a surging run through the midfield.
… please No.

I miss santi cazorla

Dribbling GK
Ultra modern goalkeeper


The only way back for Ramsdale is if he can do a scorpion kick save against the league cup. MA is a big Higuita fan.


If football really wants to consider itself progressive, Euro 2024 needs to be the year of Rush goalies.


Wish I could thumb this twice. There was a variant too. Where the nearest person to goal could be goalie as long as he was in the “area”. It did lead to arguments though I recall. Think VAR might struggle with this. Only really worked with 2 or 3 a-side and sometimes where you had 2 vs 3 so had to give advantage to one side.

djourou's nutmeg

the true inverted striker, i can see arteta trying it!

It Is What It Is

Raya is winning on composure and outfield technical ability.


Man was nervous Vs Citeh in the first half.
Misplacing passes, flapping at crosses…

Naked Cygan

Much is said about Raya and keepers having to hold the ball, kick it, and make sure the pass reaches the intended target example Jesus. The player receiving the ball is responsible for this tactic, because of the goalkeeper makes a good pass, the receiver should be equally good at winning these balls under pressure with a defender on their back, holding the ball and making the next move. A lot goes into this. Keeper kick accuracy is just part of it. Just like making the perfect assist. If the striker does not score, u don’t get credit for the… Read more »

Heavenly Chapecoense

You’re so right. It really depends on who receives the ball. When Chelsea had Drogba, it would have been a very bad idea for them to play from the back. The man was an expert is receiving long balls.

Man Manny

The pundits are doing everything within their power to put a wedge between Raya and Ramsdale. I have never seen a thing like this before. ESPN and their biased pundits spent more than twenty minutes discussing the “goalkeeping situation at Arsenal” a day after we got what might turn out to be our most important victory this season.
Mike Oliver’s error, Haaland’s total black-out, Rice’s masterpiece, Partey’s laser guided pass to Tomiyasu’s head and many more talking points passed them by.
Every Raya mistake was magnified to the high heavens, and each was reason Ramsdale should return.


If the nationalities were reversed, we know how it would go.


Yeah but that was inevitable when arteta loaned in a replacement for an already exceptional and extremely popular goalkeeper. The circus was always gonna follow because its hard to get your head round. We needed a striker. We didn’t need a keeper. We sold a striker and replaced our keeper. I’m not negging because I’m loving our start to the season, but I do honestly believe that we are where we are despite Raya and not because of him.

Man Manny

Leno wasn’t doing badly when Ramsdale arrived…and took his place. It’s little things that change the needle at this level of football.


Leno was good, Rammers very good, Raya excellent.


By picking Raya, while making some pretty lame excuses about substitutions and performances, arteta has created a real mess and probably destroyed the confidence of ramsdale by essentially saying he’s unable/unwilling to coach a younger player who is physically more suited to the position.

Norwegian Wood

You’re wrong and you know it


Just looking at corners and crosses you can tell why Raya is being preferred. Ramsdale will outgrow him surely but atm Raya is better.


I agree with the first sentence, but disagree on the second. Look at Ramsdale’s data on distribution and cross claiming year by year.
They have not improved. He’s been among the worst GKs at distribution every year he’s been in the league (hilariously, still above Leno though…). He could definitely improve a bit, but these areas that Arteta is clearly focussing on are just not his strengths.


This might be wrong or make others uncomfortable, but is it also possible that he has just done something where he has signed a young British GK and helped transform him into a very good goal keeper, then brought someone else in who he believes is better, so Arsenal can eventually be much more sustainable and sell Ramsdale in the future for double the amount we paid? It certainly is great having 2 brill keepers but eventually, one of them will want to move. Or Ramsdale becomes a worldie under the challenge anyway. I rate them both and if it… Read more »


Everyone seems to forget that Arteta was in for Raya before he signed Ramsdale but he wasn’t available. Or did I dream this?


That’s right. When they were in the Championship but they rejected our 10mill offer I believe. Good memory!


I think there is very, very little to choose between them. I really hope Raya helps us keep clean sheets at home which has been a real problem during Ramsdale’s incumbency. Whether it’s Ramsdale‘s fault or not is another issue, but it is an embarrassing problem Arsenal need to fix.


For the free kicks article, what about this one?


It was a smart tactic as we know that Haaland won’t chase the ball.

Teryima Adi

Raya’s the real deal.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

“I have to do what the coach tells me” is a perfect get out of jail free card and gives licence to Arteta never to make Ramsdale his No1 again, no matter how horrendous errors from Raya are.


Ramsdale is basically done at arsenal unless he is willing to be a back up. His skill set doesn’t match our new requirements. We basically need an Alison type goalkeeper. Not many around that’s why aterta took a punt on raya. Ten hag bought onana for the same reasons and let go fan favourite de gea


Completely off topic but it seems United missed a trick with Raya – he was a perfectly signing for them in the summer and half the price of the goalie they did sign. Oh well, their loss is our gain.


Was thinking the same about Chelsea—Sanchez is solid enough but Raya is much better.


The simple fact is that if one of our goalies gets crocked, we have another international class one to replace him. Everything else is speculation or opinion.

Mach III

erm, I don’t think he should be revealing our tactics…

Public Elneny

Something important that I don;t think many people are taking into account, is that the way Brentford used to build up play through him was totally different to how he’s asked to at Arsenal. He was predominantly a long ball specialist at Brentford, and they would rarely try to draw the press out onto the back 5/6 with short passes like we do. It’s also worth saying that it’s easier to be a long ball specialist when you’ve got a front 2 to aim at and one of them is Ivan Toney. So when people say Raya is better on… Read more »

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x